This weekend I made yet another trek to the Laurens County Public Library hoping to unearth more than I was able to on my first visit. I knew there would be plenty of information about my mom’s family because they’ve been in Laurens County for over 200 years, my dad’s side, however didn’t make its way to the county until the 1930s. So I wasn’t expecting much on my dad’s family from this trip.
The most useful information I found, however, was about my dad’s side of the family and it helped solve part of a mystery that has plagued my search thus far. Looking through (largely incomplete) obituary indexes, I found an obituary for my 2nd great grandmother, Estelle Gibson Vincent. Up to this point, I only had her dad’s name and her mother’s first name, with the help of the obituary, I found her mother’s maiden name which led me to more clues about her family. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to find out anything about her father – what he did for a living, why and when he died, or where he is buried. I’m hoping this new information about his wife will help me find out at least a little something more about him.
The second obituary that I found was from my mother’s side of the family – that of my 4th great grandmother. Her obituary was amazing in its eloquence and relative lack of information (compared to the obituaries of today). Despite not having much information, it is one of the most beautiful obituaries I have ever read:
Died at her residence in Laurens County S.C., Feb 14th, 1892, Mrs. Agatha Louisa Davis, wife of Dr. John H. Davis and mother of Miss Sallie Davis, John C. and Robert C. Davis, aged 84 years. Fifteen years ago her husband preceded her to the better land and during these years of patient waiting for the summons to join her loved ones gone before, her life was filled with gentle and unobtrusive deeds of kindness to all within her reach. None were ever turned empty handed from her door and only the recording angel knows of her liberal gifts to the needy. Her long life had been full of tenderness and love and the end was fitting. Just as the Sabbath morn was dawning, surrounded by a large family circle, she passed peacefully over to the unending Sabbath of that new Jerusalem, of which she so much loved to sing. Like a shock of wheat, fully ripened she was gathered into the Master’s garner, and over her sleeping dust may well be inscribed, “She hath done what she could.”